Tony Gilroy is pretty much the model of a working Hollywood screenwriter in the year 2012. He’s crossed over and become a director as well, but when you look at his career path in general, this is a guy who had to define himself while doing works for hire, something that can easily grind up a writer, even a smart and dedicated one.
“The Bourne Legacy” is a long way from “The Cutting Edge,” Gilroy’s first produced piece of work, and when you look at his ’90s credits, he worked on a lot of studio pictures like “Armageddon,” “Extreme Measures,” “The Devil’s Advocate,” “Bait,” “Proof Of Life,” and the Stephen King adaptation, “Delores Clairborne.”
It was in 2002, though, that he finally got the main credit on an undeniably big hit, “The Bourne Identity” and building off of that as a starting point, he wrote both sequels and then jumped into directing with two films that he also wrote, “Michael Clayton” and “Duplicity.” The identity he’s established for himself as a filmmaker now is that he crafts very slick adult entertainment, movies that are definitely big-studio friendly, but that have a little extra something to them.
When we sat down to talk about his latest entry in the “Bourne” series, the first he’s also directed, I had to make a comparison between this film and another, and while I don’t think I’m the only to make the connection by any means, I think I may have been the first one to say it to him at the press day. It’s a natural jump to make based on the notion that Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) needs his “chems” to keep from regressing to below-average intelligence, something that could get him killed. Even so, when I told him it felt like he’d made “‘Flowers for Algernon’ with a body count,” he seemed shocked and a little entertained by it. He even commented on it again when I walked past him in the hall.
I’m curious to see where the series goes from here, but I definitely think Tony Gilroy’s going to stay involved, and it seems like the franchise is in good hands to me.
“The Bourne Legacy” opens everywhere today.